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UFC Fight Night 151 Predictions and Picks: The Body Lock predicts Iaquinta vs. “Cowboy”

UFC Fight Night 151 Predictions and Picks: The Body Lock predicts Iaquinta vs. “Cowboy”

Al Iaquinta and Donald Cerrone stare down before UFC Fight Night 151

The UFC returns to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, this Saturday, May 4. The entirety of the card will air on ESPN+, so there’s no need to flip between ESPN, ESPN 2, and ESPN+.

Twelve of The Body Lock’s top writers weighed in with their picks, predictions, and insight for the fights on the event’s six-fight main card.

Andrew Sanchez vs. Marc-André Barriault

In the first fight of the main card, TKO middleweight and light heavyweight champion Marc-André Barriault (11-1) will look to make good on his UFC debut against Ultimate Fighter Season 23 veteran Andrew Sanchez (10-4).

Picking Sanchez: Sriram Muralidaran, Nick Cowie, Tom Tierney, Charles Sganga, Drake Riggs, Steven Rae, Jake Nichols

Picking Barriault: Shane Connelly, Patrick Auger, Ahmad Tahriri, Brandon Sibcy, Rhodri Morgan


Sriram Muralidaran

Barriault isn’t particularly proven, and Sanchez can do things. “El Dirte” has a gas tank issue but that alone isn’t a reason not to favor him. Sanchez, unanimous decision

Nick Cowie

To say Andrew Sanchez gassed in his two losses in the UFC is an understatement. Still, he looked like the better fighter for the majority of those fights and has since used the UFC PI to improve his cardio and switched camps to Tristar. In his first fight since the switch, the former TUF winner looked like his old pressure-fighting self. His skill-set should be too much for the dangerous debuting Canadian. Also, Andrew, if you’re reading this, my professor saw all those wieners you drew on my homework in college. Sanchez, unanimous Decision

Tom Tierney

Sanchez is a scary pick after watching him gas out against Ryan Janes and Anthony Smith, but the skills are there. The takedown should be available for “El Dirte” on his way to a decision, maybe late submission victory. Sanchez by decision

Shane Connelly

This will be the first fight of 2019 for both guys. Sanchez has the UFC experience under his belt, but I’ll roll the dice on the new guy in this one. Barriault, KO 2

Charles Sganga

Going with Andrew Sanchez via submission in R2. Think his grappling will be too much for Andre.

Patrick Auger

Marc-Andrew Barriault is a two-division TKO champ, and Andrew Sanchez is an enigma whose record is barely above .500 in the UFC. This is the case of bringing in a guy who looks good outside of the UFC and testing his mettle against proven talent, and I think Barriault will pass that test. Barriault TKO R1

Ahmad Tahriri

I’m going with the Canadian native with just one loss: Barriault. I don’t care he doesn’t have Wikipedia page, I think he’s going to get it done. Marc-André Barriault, TKO R1.

Brandon Sibcy

Sanchez probably has the better wrestling and definitely has the “big show” experience, but Barriault has also shown some solid takedowns of his own. Barriault also has won a majority of his fights by KO and Sanchez has been KO’d more than once. I think eventually Barriault catches him and puts him down. Barriault via TKO

Drake Riggs

I’ll be honest, not familiar with Barriault. But I’ve always fancied me some “El Dirte” Sanchez… He hasn’t made a lot of noise for a TUF winner and his losses have both come after clearly beating his opponents. So it’s always interesting to see him fight. Sanchez UD

Steven Rae

Marc-Andre Barriault via third round TKO. The Canadian has an advantage on the feet and should be able to deny the takedowns of Ultimate Fighter winner Sanchez.

Jake Nichols

When Andrew Sanchez came through The Ultimate Fighter, he really did look like the next great contender in the division. His wrestling ability made him appear to be a difficult matchup for many. However, his run in the UFC has been disappointing, to say the least. Fortunately for Sanchez, he’s in a very winnable fight here against Marc-Andre Barriault. Andrew Sanchez by TKO (ground and pound) – R3

Rhodri Morgan

Classic wrestler vs striker situation here. Home-town boy, Barriault has the opportunity to blow the roof off the Canadian Tire Centre as the card opener, especially considering his track record for explosive violence. Barriault 2nd round TKO to start the party for Canada.


Walt Harris vs. Sergey Spivak

Walt Harris (12-7), who was recently permitted to compete by USADA, will look to give UFC newcomer Sergey Spivak the first blemish of his undefeated career in the second fight of the main card.

Picking Harris: Sriram Muralidaran, Nick Cowie, Tom Tierney, Charles Sganga, Patrick Auger, Ahmad Tahriri, Brandon Sibcy, Jake Nichols, Rhodri Morgan

Picking Spivak: Shane Connelly, Drake Riggs, Steven Rae


Sriram Muralidaran

This is Spivak’s first time fighting outside regional European promotions (mostly in Ukraine), this is his first fight approaching a good HW. Harris, KO

Nick Cowie

Sergey Spivak makes his UFC debut with an undefeated record and a 100 percent finishing rate in his nine fights. The question will be if he can handle such a large jump in competition. Unless he gets the knockout early, I see Harris grinding this one out. Harris is a smart fighter and Spivak has only seen the second round once in his career. Harris, Unanimous Decision

Tom Tierney

Spivak is a grinder but Harris is the bigger, stronger fighter. Harris keeps him at the end of his jab and stays upright for a (possibly uneventful) decision win. Harris by decision

Shane Connelly

Harris went from being scheduled to fight a 41-year-old Russian in Alexey Oleynik to a 24-year-old Moldovan in Spivak. Harris’ UFC run has been pretty underwhelming, so maybe we could see a new face enter the fold. Spivak, SUB 3

Charles Sganga

Going with Walt Harris via KO in R1, the power of Harris will be too much to handle for Spivak.

Patrick Auger

Is Sergey Spivak a can crusher? Can Walt Harris somehow not screw this up via DQ or USADA violation? These are the big questions, and I’m guessing as long as Harris doesn’t get in his own way, he’ll take this in a nice boring decision. Harris UD

Ahmad Tahriri

I have a good feeling about the fun level of this fight. I wish had as good a feeling about the skill level of Spivak entering the UFC. I think experience is going to win this fight. Walt Harris, TKO R2.

Drake Riggs

I think Walt is a very solid heavyweight. Not great, not terrible. Spivak is coming in as a very dangerous and YOUNG newcomer. That could either be a big help or problem. We’ll see. It’s always hard to tell at heavyweight. But Spivak has proven to be much more dangerous in his career if the UFC jitters don’t get him, I think he can get it done. Spivak RD1 Sub

Brandon Sibcy

Spivak’s biggest wins are against two journeymen in Travis Fulton and Tony Lopez. Every other fighter he has beaten has an abysmal record. While he’s definitely looked solid in his wins, I believe Harris’ experience and size will be too much for the young prospect. Harris via TKO

Jake Nichols

Sergey Spikav is almost the exact opposite of what his record after nine fights may have you believe. He’s young and relatively inexperienced, sure, but he also hasn’t shown a lot that makes me confident in picking him against Walt Harris or 95% of the UFC’s heavyweight roster. His awkward style might cause problems for some, but look past that and you’ll see a fighter with a lot of holes in his game. Expecting Harris to come out of this one with a fast knockout victory. Walt Harris by KO – R1

Rhodri Morgan

Harris should be riding high off the biggest win of his career against Andrei Arlovski at UFC 232. USADA had other plans, popping Harris for a tainted substance and overturning the result. Spivak is 9-0 as a pro with a perfect 9 finishes (5 submission, 4 KO/TKO), with 8 coming in the first round. Spivak’s resume doesn’t exactly blow your hair back but momentum will certainly be on his side. If Harris can weather Spivak’s initial barrage, there’s a good chance he can take control of the fight once the Moldovan’s gas tank runs out. I hope Harris opts to fight smart and proves me right to get the much-needed decision win.


Brad Katona vs. Merab Dvalishvili

Ultimate Fighter Season 27 featherweight winner, Brad Katona (8-0) will put his undefeated record on the line against his toughest test yet, Georgia’s Merab Dvalishvili (8-4).

Picking Katona: Shane Connelly, Charles Sganga, Patrick Auger, Steven Rae, Jake Nichols

Picking Dvalishvili: Sriram Muralidaran, Nick Cowie, Tom Tierney, Drake Riggs, Ahmad Tahriri, Brandon Sibcy, Rhodri Morgan


Sriram Muralidaran

No strong feelings here, but Simon is the best guy either’s faced, and Merab did a good job until he got ‘memed’ on at the end.

Nick Cowie

Merab Dvalishvili is one of those fighters who is far better than his record indicates. His two losses in the UFC were an extremely questionable decision to Frankie Saenz and a confusing technical submission at the buzzer to Ricky Simone. He is a complete fighter with outstanding pressure and grappling but has an undefeated TUF winner in front of him. I would never bet on this fight but I’ll take the motivated Georgian. Dvalishvili, Unanimous Decision

Tom Tierney

I’ve been going back and forth on this one but ultimately Merab’s stupid pace and takedown game wins it. I think Katona can get up and attack from his back but will still find his way to the wrong end of the scorecard. Dvalishvili by decision

Shane Connelly

Katona’s run on TUF put him in a category with Gunnar Nelson known as likable fighters who train at SBG Ireland. Katona, UD

Charles Sganga

Brad Katona via UD. Brad is one of the top fighters out of SBG Ireland and is a very well rounded mixed martial artist.

Patrick Auger

Brad Katona is gonna what he does best–decision the hell out of a fight. Katona via UD

Drake Riggs

I like Brad, think he has a lot of potential. Throwing him to a vet like Merab might be a little too soon though. His record is very deceiving as we all know. Should either be close or a reality check for “Superman.” Merab UD

Ahmad Tahriri

I’m going based on who has the longer name. Merab Dvalishvili, Split Decision.

Brandon Sibcy

Dvalishvili’s record is misleading. The guy has been on the wrong end of some bizarre rulings and calls in the cage. He brings an insane pace and I think it’ll be enough to take Katona out of his comfort zone and hand him his first professional loss. Dvalishvili via decision

Steven Rae

I see Brad Katona controlling the always-exciting Dvalishvili and walking away with the Unanimous Decision win, extending his professional record to 9-0.

Jake Nichols

I still haven’t properly recovered from Merab Dvalishvili’s last-second defeat to Ricky Simon back in April last year. Aljamain Sterling and the team at Serra BJJ have been hyping Merab Dvalishvili up for years now and this is a guy who has the wrestling ability to be a lot of trouble for many of his future opponents. However, I’m not really sure that he matches up well against Brad Katona. Katona’s slick on the mat and has the ability to outwork Dvalishvili standing up as well. A submission is possible, but it’s hard to imagine that Dvalishvili’s submission defense isn’t rapidly improving while training alongside Aljo. Brad Katona to win by unanimous decision.

Rhodri Morgan

TUF 27 winner Katona is a cerebral operator – progressing through his fighting career with scientific precision. One factor that will have been undoubtedly key in preparation for Saturday is cardio – Dvalishvili is a Duracell with a back-up generator and I think he’ll be able to overcome Katona’s advantage on the feet and smother his way to a decision win

Shane Burgos defeats Kurt Holobaugh via submission at UFC 230
Shane Burgos defeats Kurt Holobaugh via submission at UFC 230 (UFC/Getty Images)

Cub Swanson vs. Shane Burgos

A WEC and UFC stalwart, Cub Swanson (25-10) looks to snap a recent three-fight losing streak against promising featherweight prospect Shane Burgos (11-1).

Picking Swanson: Nick Cowie, Tom Tierney, Shane Connelly, Charles Sganga, Patrick Auger

Picking Burgos: Sriram Muralidaran, Ahmad Tahriri, Brandon Sibcy, Drake Riggs, Steven Rae, Jake Nichols, Rhodri Morgan


Sriram Muralidaran

Burgos is an excellent pressure-boxer, and Swanson seems extremely shot. If he can’t pull the trigger, as seen in the Edgar rematch, he’s kinda screwed, and his chin looked shaky in the Moicano bout. Burgos is a punishing guy to be in there with, can’t see that fight going well for 2019 Cub. Burgos, KO

Nick Cowie

Here is another fight that I hate trying to predict. Swanson is on a three-fight skid but all three losses came to the elite of the division in Ortega, Edgar, and Moicano. Burgos only has one loss to Calvin Kattar in one of the fights of 2018. Burgos loves to throw and will gladly play into Swanson’s game. For this reason and Swanson’s ground game, I’ll give him the edge, but I might as well be throwing a dart at their names. Swanson, Unanimous Decision

Tom Tierney

2019 Swanson worries me a little, especially coming off a fight where he was dropped by a jab and ultimately finished. I like Burgos, but his wild striking will cost him and the more polished Cub will put him away early. Swanson (T)KO R1

Shane Connelly

Swanson needs to break a three-fight losing streak, but Burgos is no easy task for him. This will be FOTN if these guys start swinging for the fences early on. Swanson, TKO 2

Charles Sganga

Cub Swanson via TKO in R2. The experience of Cub should give him enough of an edge to win this one.

Patrick Auger

Cub has definitely had some struggles as of late, but those have been against top contenders in the division. Burgos is definitely a top prospect but hasn’t yet faced a seasoned veteran that’s the caliber of Cub. This fight is a sleeper of a banger, but I think Cub still pulls it off. Cub via UD

Drake Riggs

This should be fun. Got Burgos just because of the age. Swanson seems to really be starting to show his decline. I’d be happy if I was wrong, but Burgos is no easy out when it comes to 145’s prospects. Burgos UD

Ahmad Tahriri

Shane Burgos is an exciting prospect for the featherweight division despite his lost against Calvin Kattar. I can see him continuing his return to a winning streak sooner than I can see Cub Swanson reclaiming his contender spot. I’m picking Shane Burgos, Unanimous Decision.

Brandon Sibcy

I’d usually say this is a winnable fight for Swanson but I just don’t have much faith in the California native in 2019. There’s a good chance he gets into a war with Burgos and ends up getting tagged. Burgos via TKO.

Steven Rae

Cub Swanson is a household name in the UFC. The featherweight has been competing at the highest level for over a decade. He comes into this bout having lost three in a row; he may be fighting for his job, and a desperate Swanson is a dangerous one. This is Shane Burgos’ big opportunity. The 28-year-old is extremely well rounded, with 9 of his 11 wins coming via finish. Who can forget his war with Calvin Kattar at UFC 220? Although he lost the fight, he showcased great boxing and has legitimate one-punch knockout power. Shane Burgos will defeat Cub Swanson via UD.

Jake Nichols

This is my lock for “Fight of the Night.” Shane Burgos brings it every time he steps into the Octagon. A committed fight finisher, Burgos marches forward and demands a ridiculously high pace from his opponent each and every time. Only a handful of fighters in the UFC land more significant strikes per minute than Burgos, and he’s now been able to show off his submission skills in his most recent fight. Swanson’s always very dangerous and this high-tempo matchup might suit him. However, I’m taking Burgos to win as he’s superb at drawing out punches and other strikes before hammering home punches of his own. Some excellent work on the feet may lead to a submission opportunity on the mat for Burgos later in the fight. Burgos by SUB – R2

Rhodri Morgan

First off – Burgos is an enormous Featherweight and boasts power that many Middleweights can’t generate. His boxing is also seriously legit, showing devastating counter-striking in his career to date. I can’t help but fear that Swanson’s will to fight is overtaking his ceiling for success and as gutsy and well-rounded as he is, I think Burgos is just too good getting the win with a 1st/2nd round TKO.

Derek Brunson prepares to fight Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza of Brazil
Derek Brunson prepares to fight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza of Brazil (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou

Following two back-to-back, knockout losses to top middleweight contender ‘Jacaré’ Souza and interim champion Israel Adesanya, Derek Brunson (18-7) will look to stave off surging middleweight-turned-ringboy, Elias Theodorou (16-2) in the co-main event.

Picking Brunson: Sriram Muralidaran, Shane Connelly, Charles Sganga, Patrick Auger, Steven Rae, Jake Nichols

Picking Theodorou: Nick Cowie, Tom Tierney, Ahmad Tahriri, Drake Riggs, Brandon Sibcy, Rhodri Morgan


Sriram Muralidaran

Brunson’s gonna sprint face-first into the fence for a bit as Elias moves away, seemingly doing an interpretive dance to express how futile he finds the violence of the Octagon. And eventually one of Brunson’s shots will likely land. Brunson, KO, Round 1

Nick Cowie

This card is full of decision machines. Elias Theodorou has not had a finish since 2015 but he has also never been finished. Even Thiago Santos failed to finish the Canadian. At the same time, Theodorou proved that he can defeat war-ready heavy hitters when he squeaked out a decision of Eryk Anders. Given how gun-shy Brunson looked his last time out, I’ll count on the composure of Elias Theodorou to get this one done. Theodorou, Unanimous Decision

Tom Tierney

Theodorou in Canada wins by his usual evasive, passive style. I just don’t trust Brunson’s fight IQ and can totally see him just wildly chasing Elias as “The Spartan” evades and does just enough for a win. Theodorou by decision

Shane Connelly

Theodorou managed to survive after getting rocked by Eryk Anders multiple times in his last fight. Look for Brunson to break Theodorou’s seven-fight decision streak by stopping him in this one. Brunson, TKO 3

Charles Sganga

Dereck Brunson via UD. I believe Brunson will bounce back strong against Elias after 2 tough losses in his last outings.

Drake Riggs

Elias will be too smart and too mobile. Theodorou UD

Patrick Auger

Derek Brunson has the chin of an 8-year-old and the power of a legit knockout artist. Luckily for him, Theodorou doesn’t have a lot of power and seems to struggle against gatekeepers that stand in the way of elite competition. I expect the gate to stay closed this time around. Brunson via UD

Ahmad Tahriri

I haven’t been able to get Israel Adesanya referring to Dereck as “Dereck Bumson” out of my head, so I’m going with Elias Theodorou, Unanimous Decision.

Brandon Sibcy

Brunson has that serious power but Theodorou is rather elusive and will likely stay away from the heavy shots. This will likely be a rather boring affair that sees Theodorou kickbox his way to decision. Theodorou via decision

Jake Nichols

A bizarre fight that could be loads of fun or a good time to head out for a quick break. I feel like Derek Brunson vs. Robert Whittaker showcased exactly what to expect from the always dangerous Brunson. His aggression and power can be too much for some, but if his opponent can hang in there (like Whittaker and many others have done), he’ll eventually be overrun. Elias Theodorou has all of the tools to keep Brunson away, while also tagging him with feather-like punches and kicks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another Theodorou decision win but I’m instead going to predict Brunson to win by first-round TKO because, really, why not? Brunson by TKO – R1

Rhodri Morgan

In his most recent loss to Adesanya, it was clear that Brunson was outclassed and he was picked apart with ruthless precision. Fight week has seen ‘Mane Event’ Theodorou highlight a key weakness in Brunson, the instinct to fight emotionally. ET has demonstrated continuous improvement throughout his UFC career whilst Brunson seems to be sliding the other way and has a very tough task ahead of him against the cerebral, technically proficient Theodorou. ET’s getting his hand raised at home, adding another decision win to his resume.

Donald Cerrone crushes Alexander Hernandez with a left punch at UFC Fight Night 143 in Brooklyn
Donald Cerrone crushes Alexander Hernandez with a left punch at UFC Fight Night 143 in Brooklyn (Source: UFC/Getty Images)

Donald Cerrone vs. Al Iaquinta

In the main event, MMA’s favorite real-estate agent/lightweight contender, Al Iaquinta (9-3), will look to take out the legendary “Cowboy”, Donald Cerrone (35-11), in an incredibly important matchup for the lightweight division.

Picking Cerrone: Tom Tierney, Charles Sganga, Drake Riggs

Picking Iaquinta: Sriram Muralidaran, Nick Cowie, Shane Connelly, Patrick Auger, Ahmad Tahriri, Brandon Sibcy, Steven Rae, Jake Nichols, Rhodri Morgan


Sriram Muralidaran

Really interesting fight. Cerrone is definitely better on the outside, but Iaquinta looked good at entering the pocket against a guy who doesn’t want him to be there last time, and Cerrone will have trouble timing the knee against a guy who isn’t just crashing into him. Iaquinta pocket-boxes him up and maybe hits the body, gives Cowboy all sorts of trouble. Iaquinta, KO, Round 2

Nick Cowie

It looks like we have another coin flip on our hands. I have to admit, I didn’t believe in Ragin’ Al fully until he defeated Kevin Lee, a feat I never thought he was capable of. I see a very close fight on the feet but the pressure of Iaquinta proving to be too much for Cerrone by the later rounds. Cerrone has been scoring great finishes but Al Iaquinta seems to be impossible to get out of there. I’ll take the Brooklyn gangster in a hard-fought decision. Al Iaquinta, Unanimous Decision

Tom Tierney

I’m a fellow Long Islander, but I’m going with the ol’ Cowboy here. Let me be specific; POST FATHERHOOD Cowboy. People are sleeping on Cerrone as they always seem to do these days. A lot of that has to do with recency bias of Al’s last performance. Cerrone’s the better striker. Al has some nice boxing, a heavy right hand and wrestling to fall back on, but does he really want to go to the ground? Cowboy hits him with a combo similar to the Story fight and puts him down. Viva la Cowboy! Cerrone (T)KO R4

Shane Connelly

Raging Al fighting twice in 2018 and now competing again in May gives me hope that he’ll compete consistently. He has the potential to be excellent, and the Cowboy fight is the perfect opportunity for him to show that he deserves a top-tier fight next. Iaquinta, UD

Charles Sganga

Donald Cerrone via Sub in R3. I believe this will be a barn burner and these two men will stand toe to toe. Eventually, the fight goes to the ground and Cowboy finishes off a tough and durable Raging Al.

Patrick Auger

Cerrone’s last lightweight run was legendary, beating names like Edson Barboza and Eddie Alvarez on the way to a title shot, but that was nearly four years ago, and time is not your friend in the MMA game. Iaquinta, on the other hand, is 6-1 in his last seven fights, with his only loss coming by way of the champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s bittersweet that one of these guys has to lose, and it should be a fun banger. I give a slight edge to Iaquinta. Iaquinta via UD

Drake Riggs

Cowboy seems like a man on a mission. We’ve seen Al submitted before. After some breif exchanges, Cowboy will utilize his underrated wrestling and end up getting the sub at some point. Cerrone RD2 Sub

Ahmad Tahriri

I refuse to sleep on Al Iaquinta any longer. I have Al winning this fight, TKO R2

Brandon Sibcy

Iaquinta’s only loss in five years is short notice bout against current champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Sure, he hasn’t fought a lot, but when he has, he’s impressed. I believe the toughest real estate agent on the planet has good enough takedown defense to avoid Cerrone’s ground game and good enough boxing to time him on the feet and catch him at some point. Iaquinta via TKO

Steven Rae

This is a remarkably evenly matched fight, with both men having exceptional standup skills. Cerrone has a distinct advantage on the ground with 17 submission wins to his name. Al Iaquinta may well be the most underrated fighter in the Lightweight division. His rematch with Kevin Lee in December was his big coming out party – he showcased beautiful boxing and wrestling to win via Unanimous Decision. Every time I doubt ‘Cowboy’, he finds a way to win, but I will yet again be betting against him. I see Al Iaquinta defeating Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision.

Jake Nichols

It’s no secret how to beat Donald Cerrone in 2019. After years and years of competing against some of the best to ever do it, the blueprint for beating “Cowboy” is out there for all to see. Rafael dos Anjos probably did it best in 2015 and Darren Till comes in at a close second; a fast start combined with lots of forward pressure is enough to disallow Cerrone from settling into a fight. Al Iaquinta’s hands may be enough to overwhelm Cerrone in this bout if he can close the distance early. He also won’t make the same mistakes that Alex Hernandez did by running into intercepting knees over and over again. Iaquinta by TKO – R2

Rhodri Morgan

Buckle up gang, this one’s gonna get wild. Iaquinta is starting to enjoy the long-deserved spotlight and I can’t see him tapping, giving Cerrone the space to get his strikes off or sitting on the back foot to lose a decision. As of this morning, Cerrone looked skinny and drawn out on the scale but, who has the right to count out the UFC most winning fighter… If pushed though, I’m giving Al the nod with a TKO win in the 3rd.

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